Saturday, 27 January 2007

Sunday 28 January 2007 - Rockhampton

We have had a couple of quiet weekends. I went to see the movie Eragon, which I quite enjoyed. The good news is that Shane is back in Rockhampton for a couple of weeks, working with his project team, and his paperwork has finally been signed, so he is officially on the project. My contract has been extended for another 3 months, so that sees us here in Rocky at least until the end of April.

Australia Day was quite a nice day, we went down to Yeppoon to see the big Australia Day Festival they were holding on the beach. The sand sculptures were much to look at, but the kites were certainly colourful. We had been planning to swim, but it wasn't nice swimming
weather, so we had a counter lunch at the pub, and listened to some of the musical entertainment. It has been pleasant to have a long weekend, but today is an absolute scorcher here in Rocky - we have just hit 36.3oC and there is also very high humidity.

I have been extremely busy with family history, and am still trying to sort through a deluge of information sent to me by other contacts. One, on Darryl's side, has basically doubled the tree! This is the Trembath line, which I am still trying to unfathom.

Melchert Family circa 1910
Standing at back - Henry Melchert, Arthur Douglas Smith
2nd row - Lizzetta Andersen (nee Melchert), William Frederick Martin Melchert, Elizabeth Melchert (nee Weinheimer), Clara Smith (nee Melchert) infant - Arthur Smith
Sitting - Alfred Andersen, Lizzie Andersen, Bill Smith
Front - Cornelius Kenealy

Monday, 8 January 2007

Tuesday 9 January 2007 - Byfield

We have just had a really lovely weekend away at Byfield, which is on the coast between Yeppoon and the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area (so not far from Rocky).

On Saturday morning we headed up to Byfield State Forest, a place we have visited many times in the past, but this time we went past the Waterpark Creek Camping area and onto the 4-wheel drive only track. At first this track seems like fairly solid unsealed road, but it comes to a point where it is just soft sand, and we had to let air out of our tyres to ourselves as Nine-mile Beach. We set up camp just back from the beach, and Darryl headed off to do some fishing while I relaxed with coffee and a book. After I had finished my coffee I ploughed through the soft sand down to the beach, for a swim. I was delighted to find Darryl catching fish after fish. They were silver dart, and although he was throwing them back, he was very happy that they were ending up on his hook. The water was reasonably rough, and there were a few surfers out, but it was too rough for me, and I just immersed myself in the shallows between breakers, which was pleasant enough. This beach is a well-known spot in our region and there were plenty of 4x4s driving up and down - apparently doing 'lappies'!
be able to continue. Tracks go everywhere and there is only an occasional small signpost, but with the help of the National Parks map and also using my PDA maps with the GPS we found

After lunch, Darryl wanted to investigate, so took off on foot, and I settled back down with my books. The evening was very pleasant, although no campfires are allowed so we cooked on the gas stove and enjoyed a few glasses of Darryl's excellent homemade wine.

In the morning we packed up, and drove up to Stockyard Point. Amazingly, there is a little township there (although no shop), of fishing 'huts'. We initially drove past it and on up to 5-Rocks. Now, I have heard people talking about it for years, but never even seen a here one is!

There is quite a nice National Parks camping area there with toilets and showers, which we will come back to one day. At this stage we parked at the top and took the walking track down to the beach. The track down follows a trickle of water, and there are plenty of pandanus palms hugging it. It is a lovely little beach, and we didn't actually walk to the rocks, as the tide was coming in, and it looked as though it could be tricky to get back. Along the beach we found stranded huge purple jellyfish, a damaged but large nautilus shell, and a poor little baby turtle dead on its back. As I took a photo of it, it moved, so Darryl put it back in the water. I don't know that it would survive as it was bleeding, but that certainly would have been better than it baking to death in the hot sun. It was getting quite hot, so we climbed back up to the car and had morning tea before driving back to Stockyard Point.

There is quite a good lookout at the Point and we were able to see clearly up to 5-Rocks, and 3-Rivers Beach further north, and south down Nine-mile beach. It was interesting to see all the 4-wheel drives lined up at the 'Orange Bowl' a large orange sand-blow which is used extensively to test 4x4 driving skills. Where we had been camped the night before was not far south of this.

Due to the heat, we wanted somewhere cooler to be, so drove back to Byfield, and went to Upper Stoney day area. This is a lovely semi-rainforest area with a lovely swimming hole in Stoney Creek, set in the middle of the forestry area. It has nice facilities and the water was clear and cold. We spoke to a holidaying English couple. She was scared to get into the water in case there were crocodiles (which there are apparently in nearby Waterpark Creek), but we assured her she was fine. After a cooling swim and lunch we drove back to Yeppoon to buy the paper and an ice-cream before getting home to unpack (always the worst part of the trip!).

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Wednesday 3 Jan 2007 - Townsville - Cania Gorge

Happy New Year!!!!

I have finally finished making the new covers for our lounge.

On the Wednesday before Christmas I flew to Townsville to visit my parents and Steve, Heather and Justin. Luckily, the Dr had cleared me to travel! Everyone was looking fine. Especially Justin in his reindeer antlers!

I had a great time in Townsville. The Wednesday was Steve' Birthday and Thursday was Mum & Dad's wedding anniversary.

We had some really nice meals out, and Steve took us swimming at the new Riverside complex, Kissing Point Rockpool, and to the top of Castle Hill to take in the views.

Mum and Dad on The Strand.

Steve & Justin

 Heather & Justin
I was able to get out to the Uni and was finally able to find out the story

of the cousins who were lost in a boat between Townsville and Magnetic Island, from the newspaper. It happened in 1932, and Andrew Kenealy (one of my cousins) and two of his cousins, called Young were lost and only the boat was found. Dad also filled me in on his maritime past, including copies of his certificates.

Steve, Heather, Justin and I also went down to the
Strand to see 'The Stable' a local joint church reenactment of the real Christmas story set up in a huge air-conditioned tent, where you moved from one tableau to the other. Justin really enjoyed the live animals, with camels, sheep, goats, a donkey, calf etc.

Heather & Justin

Christmas morning I flew home to Rockhampton and
we had a nice lunch just with the three of us, Darryl, Marc and I. In the afternoon we watched a movie on Marc's new home theatre. Very impressive! On Boxing Day I played tennis and 10-pins bowls against Marc - he thrashed me, even though he was playing me left-handed! I did improve as the games went I guess there is consolation in that. In the afternoon Darryl and I drove to Gladstone and spent an enjoyable evening with George and Eileen. It started raining as we were driving down.

Next morning we headed off early towards Cania Gorge to meet up with the rest of the 4x4 club at Mungungo Pub. The group headed off to pick up Tom who was going to be our guide for the day, but unfortunately, it had rained about 35mm overnight and he felt the roads would be too dangerous. I got a lovely photo, though, as the rain had made the bark on the local gumtrees look fantastic.

Despite the trip being called off, we decided to drive to Monto and had morning tea at a local cafe. Other ventures were also thwarted when it was discovered that the local Monto History Visitor's Centre was closed. Darryl & I decided that we would head home, as the rain continued to fall.

It must have been providence, as when I arrived home there was an e-mail from offering 3 days free access, until Dec 31. I got on and finally broke through one of my long-standing brick walls. I finally found Janet
McTaggart on the 1851 Scottish Census living in Edinburgh with the Farquharson family, as a child's maid. Francis Farquharson became the 10th laird of Finzean and took up residence on the estate, which finally explains how she got to meet and marry Alexander Coutts! Apart from that, I also made contact with another researcher who was able to fill in further details on the Parker family. In the days since then I have made several other contacts on other branches of both sides of the family - just fantastic! Brick walls are crumbling all around me! I was up doing research on Ancestry as the New Year came around. There were a few fireworks out the window, but it was a pretty quite evening really. I am back at work this week, and continuing with my new genealogy contacts in the evenings.